Content is king, and so is Google.

Google rolled out a record 40 new algorithm updates in yet another sign that the search engine giant is serious about taking on back link builders and content farms head on.

Though most of the new changes are less than a month old, they’ve already impacted hundreds of sites and are being blamed for the closure of the popular link building site, BuildMyRank.

War on Backlinks

SEO gurus have been pouring over the changes since the list was released late last month, and one in particular stood out to them.

Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.

Many in the SEO world see this statement as a warning that excessive backlinking won’t be tolerated for much longer. Google doesn’t mind giving out information about how many changes they make in a given month, but the details are frequently shrouded in a mystery.

But many sites that rely heavily on backlinking have felt the impact of the new changes.

Changes Shutter Build My Rank

Earlier this week the popular link building network BuildMyRank (BMR) announced that the new algorithms had resulted in so many of their pages being de-indexed, that they were shutting down for good. BMR didn’t mention the changes specifically in their announcement, though the connection seems clear.

Google Cracks Down

Since rolling out its Panda updates last year, the folks at Google have been sending a steady message to the SEO world that content really is king. Just last week Google SEO Guru Matt Cutts announced that a new over-optimization penalty was in the works and could be rolled out very soon.

The takeaway from all of this for affiliates is that Google isn’t going to tolerate shortcuts and shenanigans any longer. Back door/black hat SEO techniques that worked in the past may cause your sites to drop off the map completely tomorrow.

What do you think of the changes Google has been making lately? Are they raising the bar for webmasters or just exercising their authority as ruthlessly as possible? Let us know in our SEO Forum.

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